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"Mungiki attack officer dies"

by Muchemi Wachira & Marcharia Wan Mwati ("Daily Nation," September 26, 2000)

The police officer whose gun was seized by Mungiki sect members at the weekend died yesterday.
The policeman died at the Murang'a District Hospital from wounds sustained during the Sunday attack.
At the same time, police recovered the gun – a G3 rifle – snatched from the officer, based at Nyakianga Police Station, by the more than 700 Mungiki members, after a fierce battle in Kianjai Village, Mathioya Division.
The officer, identified only as Waigwa, is said to have died soon after admission on Sunday night.
Sources told the Nation that the sect members inflicted a deep head wound on the officer during the attack.
However, police officers who had earlier said that the sect members had snatched the officer's gun in an attack on the station later changed their story, contradicting local District Commissioner Obondo Kajumbi who said that, contrary to Press reports, the Mungiki followers had confronted the officer in Kianjahi Village, where he was accompanied by four colleagues.
Mr Kajumbi, speaking after chairing a security meeting, said the policemen had gone to the village to disperse the sect followers "because they were holding an illegal prayer meeting''.
According to villagers, the five policemen, travelling in a Land Rover, had been dispatched specifically to disperse the sect members. But officers at the provincial police headquarters in Nyeri insisted the officers had gone merely "to observe the adherents" as they held their prayers.
"They had only gone there to observe the meeting but had no intentions of dispersing the group," one officer said.
According to the villagers, there was a confrontation between the armed officers and the sect members, who wielded stones and other crude weapons.
The officers were overpowered by the mob, which also surrounded their vehicle, smashing its windscreen and damaging it. The officers were forced to surrender. This is when the mob snatched the gun, after stabbing officer Waigwa with a dagger.
Yesterday, Mr Kajumbi said that before the officers were overpowered, they had fired several shots in the air but the mob continued attacking, yelling war songs.
"Even after lobbing tear gas canisters and using rubber bullets, the police were still defeated," the DC said.
He said there were no casualties on the sect's side.
The stolen gun was recovered an hour later, after an exchange of fire between Mungiki men and a contingent of Administration Police officers.
No arrests have been made.

"Outcry on Mungiki converts"

by Patrick Mayoyo ("Daily Nation," September 6, 2000)

The 13 Mungiki sect followers who converted to Islam should be monitored for six months to ensure they adhered to the tenets of the faith.
A Muslims leader suggested that a special team be formed to monitor the progress of the new converts.
The National Islamic Preachers Association of Kenya secretary general Sheikh Yusuf Trukana said the new converts also have to take special lessons in the faith from recognised Islamic institutions, such as Madrassa, for at least a year.
Sheikh Trukana criticised Cabinet Minister Shariff Nassir for opposing the move to accept the Mungiki sect members into Islam and advised him to leave the new converts to be taken care of by Muslim leaders.
He said Nassir should concentrate on politics and leave religion to the religious leaders.
He appealed to the new converts to respect Christians and not think that joining Islam was a license to insult other religions or look down upon them.
''Islam advocates respect of all human beings and calls for respect of law and order,'' he said.
The Administrator of the Noor Muslim Institutions in Kwale District, Mr Y.S.Hamada, opposed the conversion of the Mungiki followers to Islam,j saying they had not denounced activities linked to their sect.
But members of the Mwembe Tayari Tabligh Group, led by Mr Abdallah Ali Shee and Mr Adam Ambesta, welcomed the conversion and said other members of the sect are welcome to convert to Islam.
Mr Hamada said converts to Islam must denounce their previous religious beliefs before being accepted as Muslims, a thing he claims the Mungiki followers had not done.
"Converts to Islam must not be addicted to intoxicating drugs, a habit and lifestyle of Mungiki," he said.
But Mr Shee and Mr Adam said Islam being a universal religion of Allah (God), the Mungiki adherents were converted through clear Quran teachings.
The two hit out at a section of religious leaders for alleging that Mungiki followers converted to Islam after money changed hands.
And two Nanyuki preachers, Abdallah Maina and Suleiman Fadhili, castigated Mr Nassir for claiming that Mungiki followers were out to cause chaos.
Mr Maina and Mr Fadhili said Mr Nassir's accusations were misguided as Mungiki followers had converted to Islam with good intentions.
Last Saturday, 13 leaders of the Mungiki sect converted to Islam at a colourful ceremony at Mombasa's Sakina mosque. They were received by the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya chairman Sheikh Ali Shee.
The converts included the organizations national co-coordinator Ndura Waruinge who was renamed Ibrahim, and founder member, Mohammed Njenga.
Others included provincial coordinators Hassan Waithaka Wagacha, Mohammed Kamau Mwathi (Nairobi), Kimani Ruo Hussein (Rift Valley) and Khadija Wangari representing women.
During the ceremony Mr Waruinge asked the Government to stop harassing Mungiki members now that they had converted to Islam. He said harassment of his members would be viewed as an insult to Muslims worldwide.
He said they would use their new religion to fight against corruption, bad governance, poverty, immorality and diseases such as AIDS among Kenyans.
But yesterday Mr Hamada said Mungiki was not a genuine religious group but a political pressure group which was being used by other interest groups to destabilize the Government.

"Mungiki Leaders Convert to Islam"

("The Nation-Nairobi," September 3, 2000)

The chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Sheikh Ali Shee, said yesterday those converted included national co-ordinator Ibrahim Ndura Waruinge and founder-member Mohammed Njenga.
Others were provincial co-ordinators Hassan Waithaka Wagacha (Central), Mohamed Kamau Mwathi (Nairobi), Hussein Kimani Ruo (Rift Valley) and Khadija Wangari (women's leader).
Addressing a press conference at Mombasa's Sakina Mosque, Sheikh Shee said his council had now accepted them as Muslims. There were chants of "Taqbir, Allah Akbar" when the announcement was made.
The Mungiki leaders, who wore Kanzu and white caps, thanked Muslims for accepting them. They said the harassment of Mungiki members would now be seen as an insult to Muslims.
They appealed for financial and moral support to spread the religion and create a "nation guided by the Sharia".

"Kenyan Churches Alarmed By Spread of "Mungiki" Sect"

("Panafrican News Agency," September 3, 2000)

The rapid spread of an unregistered "Mungiki" religious sect, which isadvocating female circumcision, has alarmed mainstream churches in central Kenya.
A seminar organised by the National Council of Churches of Kenya or NCCK in Nyeri, about 107 miles north of Nairobi, heard Sunday that the sect, which also wants to ascribe to Islamic laws, is massively recruiting members from the established churches.
Mungiki members also sniff raw tobacco and dried and grounded roots.
This has alarmed church leaders who decided to call on the NCCK to conduct an urgent probe on the activities of the sect and offer guidance on how to confront it.
The sect, whose followers have been involved in daily confrontations with government officials, is also being accused of propagating activities and teachings that go against Christianity.
The Kenyan government views the Mungiki sect, which was founded early this year, as an upshot of a revolutionary society whose aim is to create lawlessness and political instability.
But the concern of Christians is the support the controversial sect has won from the Kenyan Muslim community.
On Saturday, the Council of Imams asked the government to stop harassing Mungiki followers or deprive their right to assemble at any place in Kenya.
Led by their chairman, Sheikh Ali Shee, the Imams at the port town of Mombasa, said the Mungiki movement followers were exercising their right of worship and should therefore not be harassed.
Sheikh Shee was speaking at a Mombasa mosque during the initiation of 13 Mungiki leaders who converted to Islam.
The Imams said that since Mungiki had become part and parcel of the Muslim community, they would not accept anybody to subject them to any form of mistreatment.
He appealed to Muslims to liase with Mungiki followers and construct mosques in central and rift valley provinces of Kenya.
Speaking after being converted to Islam, one of the Mungiki leaders, Ibrahim Ndura Waruinge, accused church leaders of inciting the police against the sect's members.
Waruinge, who claimed to be Mungiki's national co-ordinator, said the sect was not affiliated to any political party.

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